Tag Archives: immigration reform

How do we stop these ‘lone wolves’?

The immigrant from Uzbekistan who drove a rented truck into the New York City crowd this week illustrates the extreme difficulty in fighting this war on international terrorism.

How does the United States prevent a lone wolf who enters this country legally — even if he’s been through “extreme vetting” — from committing the act of terror we saw in New York?

Donald Trump says the nation is going to end the visa lottery program that enabled the suspect to enter the country in 2010. Of course, as is the president’s tendency, he has politicized the issue by blaming Democrats for their so-called lax immigration policy; he ignores the fact that the law under question was signed by Republican President George H.W. Bush.

My point on this matter is that lone wolf attacks are going to occur despite our best and most diligent efforts to root out evil doers before they commit their terrible act.

I say this also as someone who supports the president’s desire to implement an “extreme vetting” policy for those seeking to come to this country.

But let us not forget, too, that homegrown Americans are capable of committing infamous and dastardly acts. The Las Vegas massacre this summer; the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995; the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre; the Charleston, S.C., church slaughter? All of those evil men were native-born, corn-fed Americans; they only represent a fraction of the carnage committed by American-born terrorists.

The Uzbek suspect came here under an existing policy. There reportedly was no sign that he harbored pro-Islamic State sympathies. He became radicalized while living among Americans.

Then he took out his rage. This is why the war against international terrorism is so damn difficult to wage.

Donald Trump = Loser

Donald J. Trump is such a “loser.”

He backs losers. He listens to the advice of loser advisers. The president who promised to make America a “winner” again is, um, just another loser.

There, Mr. President. How does that feel?

You see, “loser” is a favorite epithet of Trump’s. He hurls it at political foes. He even calls international terrorists “losers,” which if you think about it is a fairly mild form of insult one might toss at mass murderers and genocidal maniacs. 

CNN reports that Trump is furious at his political team for talking him into backing U.S. Sen. Luther Strange in Alabama’s Republican Party primary election, which Tuesday night nominated former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. GOP voters spurned Trump’s guy and went with Moore, the man known for his rocky tenure as head of the ‘Bama high court. He got tossed from his judicial perch for violating the constitutional prohibition on promoting an official religion and for refusing to back a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that affirmed gay marriage.

Trump is steamed at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who persuaded Trump to back Strange. He’s mad at Vice President Pence’s chief of staff, who urged the same thing. The president just hates being associated with losing, according to CNN, which reported: “Losing is bad for his brand,” another GOP adviser to the White House said of Trump.

The president is on a bit of a losing streak. Not only did he back the wrong pony in the Alabama U.S. Senate race, his attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act have face-planted for the umpteenth time. Oh, and special counsel Robert Mueller has kicked in his legal after burners in his efforts to get to the bottom of “the Russia thing” that Trump has acknowledged caused him to fire former FBI Director James Comey.

This is the gospel truth, but I take no real pleasure in calling the president a “loser.” He’s beginning to exhibit the first glimmers of getting it by reaching out to congressional Democrats on this immigration matter involving those who were brought here illegally as children. They want to stay here and want to achieve citizenship or permanent legal immigrant status.

But … that’s about it.

Is POTUS getting it, finally?

Pity the president of the United States’s “base” of supporters. Well, actually, I don’t.

They’re suffering acute apoplexy because Donald J. Trump is beginning to show the faint signs of understanding something about the high office he occupies. It is that he even though he didn’t win a popular vote plurality in 2016, he won enough Electoral College votes to become elected and, therefore, he has to deal with the wishes and needs of those who voted against him.

Immigration is the issue of the day.

Trump is sounding like someone who wants to strike a deal with congressional Democrats and moderate congressional Republicans that would give so-called “Dreamers” a path to citizenship and/or permanent immigrant status. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals order issued by President Barack Obama has been rescinded. Trump, though, says he wants to strike some sort of deal to protect the DACA residents, to keep them in the only country they’ve ever known.

You see, about 800,000 of these U.S. residents came here as children — some of the infants and toddlers — when their parents sneaked into the country illegally. The Trump “base” considers these folks “criminals.” Well, their parents broke U.S. immigration law. But does that mean we punish the children for the sins of their parents? Let’s get real here.

The president still wants to build that wall along our southern border. We’ll have to see how that struggle plays out with the aforementioned Democrats and moderate Republicans in Congress. In my mind, the wall is a non-starter. Mexico won’t pay for it. American taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for something the president said would be financed by another government.

What’s more, the wall won’t make this country any safer from terrorists, and assorted criminals who want to come into this country to do grievous harm.

I don’t feel a single bit of sympathy for the Trumpkins who just can’t stand the thought of their guy working to fulfill the interests of the rest of the nation he now governs.

DACA ‘deal’ produces more … chaos

Chaos, anyone? Anyone?

“Chuck and Nancy” had dinner Wednesday night with the president of the United States of America and then announced they had reached an agreement with Donald J. Trump on the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals rule.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the deal involves legislation to restore DACA that “excludes the wall” that Trump wants to build across our nation’s southern border.

Cheers went up. The illegal immigrants who were brought here as children wouldn’t be rounded up and deported back to countries they don’t know, given that they grew up as de facto Americans.

Trump had rescinded the DACA executive order and gave Congress six months to craft a legislative solution to this problem. The Chuck-and-Nancy announcement seemed to give the DACA residents some hope, some reason to believe they could proceed toward full U.S. citizenship or permanent immigrant status.

Not so fast, said the president.

He insists he didn’t agree to forgo money for the wall — which he has said Mexico would pay for, over the strenuous objections of that country’s president, Enrique Pena Nieto.

Good grief, dude! Two leading Democratic politicians — both of whom have been at this governing thing for a long time — make an announcement, that is contradicted immediately by the president of the United States.

Perhaps Chuck and Nancy should bear some responsibility for this latest round of chaos as it involves the president.

But all told, the rollout of this so-called deal bears the marks of the man who is unable to formulate a smooth strategy — for anything. 

Do they have a deal or don’t they?

Just think: We’re only eight months into a four-year term for the president. This confusion and chaos does seem to make the time drag, doesn’t it?

Congressman goes beyond the pale in this attack

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez needs to chill out. He needs to take a breath. He needs to rethink the insult he hurled at one of Donald Trump’s more celebrated and worthy appointees.

The Illinois Democrat is angry that the president decided to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals order signed by President Barack Obama. He’s so angry that he said that White House chief of staff John Kelly has “disgraced the uniform he used to wear” by enabling the president to rescind this order.

I have two words for Rep. Gutierrez: Shut. Up.

I will stipulate first of all that I agree that the DACA rescission is a mistake. I wish the president had not done it. I believe DACA rules are humane, in that they protect undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children illegally by their parents; many of them know no other country than the United States of America. They deserve a clear and unfettered path to citizenship or permanent legal immigrant status.

But to say that Kelly — a retired Marine Corps general and a Gold Star father whose son was killed in combat in Afghanistan — goes far beyond what is decent and honorable.

I get that Gutierrez is emotional about immigration reform. He feels it in his gut. But let’s put the hyper-heated and defamatory rhetoric in cold storage while we discuss DACA, shall we?

Oh, one more thing: Luis Gutierrez’s own military service? None.

Trump makes our heads spin over DACA

My head is spinning. I feel almost like the Linda Blair character in the film “The Exorcist.”

Donald Trump decides to rescind the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals executive order; he gives Congress six months to find a legislative solution.

He then says he’ll “revisit” the issue if Congress fails to come up with a way to shield undocumented immigrants who were brought here by their parents when they were children.

He does all this while — and this is truly mind-boggling — granting a full presidential pardon for a former Arizona sheriff who was convicted of breaking the law. “Sheriff Joe” Arpaio, the ex-Maricopa County sheriff, got a pardon after a judge convicted him of flouting a federal court order that banned him from rounding up individuals who he suspected of being illegal immigrants.

So … Trump rescinds DACA, then says he’ll “revisit” the issue, sending out a signal that he might take back his decision to rescind DACA order. He spoke this week of the feelings he has for DACA residents, how he “loves” them, how heavily the issue weighs on his heart.

I might be inclined to believe the president on that score — except for the Arpaio pardon!

Which is it, Mr. President? In what direction is this individual leaning?

There goes my head again. It’s spinning.

Trump’s DACA decision tests civility boundaries

The president of the United States is testing my pledge to speak with a civil tone.

Donald Trump’s decision to rescind the Differed Action on Childhood Arrivals order has me straining against my more angry angels. But I shall resist the temptation. I shall remain civil.

The president has given Congress a six-month deadline to enact a legislation solution to DACA, which President Obama signed to protect undocumented immigrants against deportation. Specifically, DACA aims to shield those who were brought to this country as children, but who grew up as de facto Americans, from being kicked out of the only country they’ve ever known.

Is there a compelling need to rescind that order? No.

Did the president have to act for reasons other than fulfilling a campaign pledge? Again, no.

Does the president have a plan ready to go six months from now in case Congress fails to enact a legislative solution? Probably not.

We’ve got about 800,000 U.S. residents who have grown up as Americans. Many of them are now university students; they hold responsible jobs; they are serving in the military — and some of them have died in service to this nation.

These folks were brought here by their parents. They were children. Some were infants, or toddlers, or in grade school. They came here because Mom and Dad sought a better life. Should the parents have come in legally? Should they have sought legal immigrant status? Yes. I don’t dispute that.

Why, though, are we punishing the children — the so-called Dreamers — who were brought here because of a misjudgment by their parents?

I do not understand it. I never will understand it.

Ezekiel 18:20 tells us, “The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins … ” Mr. President, is your DACA decision in keeping with what Scripture instructs us?

OK, Congress, it’s your turn to fix DACA

So, now we’re left to hope that Congress — the outfit that couldn’t come up with a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — is supposed to find a legislative answer for undocumented immigrants who came here as children.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Differed Action for Children Arrivals is being rescinded in six months. Congress has a chance, then, to enact a law that gives DACA residents a fighting chance at avoiding deportation to countries they didn’t know. Why is that? Because they have lived their lives as Americans. They came here as children when their parents sneaked into the country.

Donald J. Trump now wants to punish those individuals for the sins of their parents.

Sessions said today that President Obama’s executive order establishing the DACA program is “unconstitutional.”

Read Sessions remarks here.

If that’s the case — and it’s debatable, of course — then Congress has the chance to make it right for those who have lived as de facto Americans. Their “home country” is the United States of America.

Will Congress deliver the goods in six months? Lawmakers’ track record pretty much stinks to high heaven. They had seven years to come up with a suitable replacement for the ACA. Trump got elected president as a Republican, giving the GOP complete control of the legislative and executive government branches. They choked, failed, sputtered, face-planted on ACA repeal and replacement.

Oh, and the president failed miserably, too. Let’s not forget that he’s the GOP’s leader now.

We have about 800,000 U.S. residents facing potential deportation to places they do not know. The president once again has played solely to his political base. The rest of us be damned!

Get to work, Congress.

Where will these DACA residents go?

I keep reading stories about undocumented immigrants who came here as children telling the world about their worries and fears regarding potential deportation.

They are so-called “dreamers.” They live here under a provision called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Donald Trump reportedly has decided to end the DACA program in six months, giving Congress a window to enact a legislative solution to this knotty issue.

Still, the question remains stuck in my craw: Where are these DACA residents going to go if the government rounds them up and sends them back to the country of their birth?

I watched two California university students tell a TV reporter that neither of them have been to Mexico since their early childhood. The United States of America is their home. They grew up here. The USA is all they’ve known. Sure, their parents broke the law, but their children have done nothing wrong — except seeking legal status.

President Barack Obama signed the executive order granting temporary reprieves for DACA residents from deportation. Donald Trump wants to rescind the order, or so we’re led to believe. Some members of Congress say Obama’s action might be unconstitutional.

OK, then. If that’s the case, let’s craft a legislative answer. Send a bill to the president’s desk, ask him to sign it and grant the “dreamers” a streamlined path to obtain U.S. citizenship or permanent legal residence.

Send these people back to their country of origin? Donald Trump said this year he wants to treat DACA residents “with heart.” OK, Mr. President. Show us your heart.

So much for compassion: Trump dumps DACA

Donald J. Trump is likely to demonstrate yet again that his presidency is the product of a diehard Republican “base” and that he owes the base every favor he can bestow.

He has decided, according to Politico, to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. But, get this: He’s going to wait six months before he pulls the plug. The president’s announcement is set for Tuesday.

What does this do? It allows the president to say he’s kept this campaign promise that the base loves; it also gives Congress a window to legislate a solution to allowing U.S. residents who as children were brought here illegally by their parents.

I had maintained a sliver of hope that Trump would agree to let Barack Obama’s executive order stand. DACA residents comprise those individuals who came here as children — some of whom were infants and/or toddlers. Their parents entered the country illegally, but those children have grown up living as Americans.

The United States is the only country they know. Yet they remain “criminals” in the minds of those who want ’em all tossed out.

Many of Trump’s Republican Party “allies” in Congress have broken ranks with the president on this issue. House Speaker Paul Ryan didn’t want to rescind DACA; neither does U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, the Senate’s senior Republican; other key Republicans across the country have weighed in against efforts to repeal DACA. Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a leading conservative GOP executive, wants DACA to remain.

Not the president. At least not six months from now.

As Politico reports: Some Republican lawmakers, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, have said that Congress needs to pass a law to protect the so-called Dreamers.

“My hope is that as part of this process we can work on a way to deal with this issue and solve it through legislation, which is the right way to do it and the constitutional way to do it,” Rubio told CNN in June.

Here’s the Politico story.

How would that legislation work? What would it look like? Would the president sign it or veto it? I guess the answer to the last question would be whether Congress could approve a DACA law with a veto-proof majority.

Given the tensions that have roiled the nation in recent weeks and the growing belief that the Trump administration cares damn little about sticky issues such as comprehensive immigration reform, such a majority might be in the cards.

This decision isn’t as stark as it could have been. It’s still pretty damn heartless of the president to toss aside millions of residents who have known no other life than what they’ve established in the United States of America.

My advice to Congress? Get busy. Right now.